TITLE

Flash Point

AUTHOR(S)
Fattah, Hassan
PUB. DATE
June 2003
SOURCE
New Republic;6/30/2003, Vol. 228 Issue 25, p10
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article could have been written off as an embarrassment for a new newspaper or yet another example of bad Arab journalism. Instead, a retracted news story about a military rape became a litmus test for the U.S. interim administration's attitude toward the nascent Iraqi press. On June 9, 'Al Sa' ah' newspaper, one of the new Iraqi broadsheets, published a story alleging that American GIs had raped two teenage girls in the southern governorate of Wasit. The story was a fabrication. Ni'ma Abdul-Razzaq, 'Al Sa'ah's' senior editor, claims he didn't realize it until he scoured Wasit and determined the story was a lie. L. Paul Bremer imposed a code of conduct on the Iraqi press: He announced that the United States would ban publications that incite violence against the U.S. military, ethnic groups, or women and those that support the Baath Party. Bremer's proclamation is part of a trend toward muzzling Iraq's nascent press freedom. Indeed, Bremer has announced the new prohibitions on"inciting violence," but few Iraqi journalists have actually seen them, which leaves him free to define them as broadly as he wishes and even to extend them to cover more general criticism of the occupation, says Haythem Manna, a member of both the Arab Commission on Human Rights and the London-based Arab Press Freedom Watch.
ACCESSION #
10069477

 

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